“We already thought of that. It doesn’t work here.”
“We have a parking lot and there is a parking shortage in the area,” Catherine shared. “A CPA on our board advised us that it would cause tax issues. And, of course, we’d have to hire someone, so we let it drop. Can you help us?” Five minutes later, Catherine was busy investigating two new parking lot opportunities. Each solution I proposed solved the tax and personnel challenges and created income.
Too many people, like Catherine’s group, declare income opportunities dead before their time. Of course, you don’t mean or intend to do this. You want income. You are trying. It’s just that what you’ve tried or thought hasn’t worked so far. Your experience misleads you to believe that an opportunity or even whole income stream is kaput for you.
This happens in all walks of life. We go to the library and it’s closed. We go to the bank. It’s closed. When we go to the post office and when we find it closed, too, we wonder, “What’s wrong with these people?” When we finally realize it’s a legal holiday, our thinking opens up. We change our perspective. We plan better ways to access services.
You can’t afford to give up viable income opportunities. To tap more income, decide that income opportunities you’ve declared dead might actually just be in a coma. Then assess fresh thinking, different perspectives, and expertise.
Nonprofits have seven income streams. Over time, each stream has proven extremely reliable in creating income. Successful nonprofits find ways to tap all seven streams. While any given stream, in terms of returns, many not provide enough income for you to continue to invest in it (which is different than deciding it’s impossible), in all likelihood you can tap all seven streams. When it comes to nonprofit income, as Jen Filla in her review of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams said, “It’s not about grants or fundraising, it’s about everything.”
For more answers, check out this Nonprofit CEO Library.
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Karen Eber Davis Consulting guides executive directors and CEOs to generate the resources, boards, and support they need to make remarkable progress on their missions. As the award-winning thought-leader, advisor, and founding principal of Karen Eber Davis Consulting, Karen helps nonprofit leaders get answers, generate revenue, and grow their mission. Davis is known for her innovation and practicality based on her work with or visits to over 1,000 nonprofit organizations and her experience leading board and team events. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.